Martha gets $100,000 per episode

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s financial statements revealed a lot about how much her version of The Apprentice is costing the company–and benefiting producer Mark Burnett.

Business Week says there was an “upfront $22 million payment to Mark Burnett” to create and develop the series. According to The New York Post, there was also a $10.8 million non-cash charge, as “Burnett picked a Hollywood-styled back-end deal that gave him as much as 5 percent of the whole company,” which “came in the form of a warrant allowing him to buy 2.5 million shares at $12.59 each over seven years.” And Martha “Stewart herself is said to get $100,000 per episode of the show.”

Business Week reveals one of the reasons why viewers aren’t fond of Martha’s show. “In focus groups, viewers have told show researches that there are too many things going on during the broadcast and that Martha appears too busy,” the magazine reports. So, ” the show has streamlined its format — and so far the results have been positive,” with increased ratings.

Correction: As several alert readers noticed, Business Week is apparently referring to a focus group for and the retooling of Martha’s daytime show, not her reality show. I was confused because her Apprentice ratings have gone up, and Martha is often too “busy” at home to see the candidates in person. That’s what house arrest will do for you, I suppose.

Can Martha Tidy Up This Mess? [Business Week]
Toxic Martha [New York Post]

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.